How can I buy a Japan car in Japan?
I come from the infamous car-culture United States. In the US, if you have to go next door to 7-11, by golly, you’re going to hop in your beloved automobile, the object of your affection, and drive the half-block.
But what happens when you move to Japan? Sure, the trains and buses are convenient. You don’t even need a car to live here! But living without a car is hard for those of us who have always had one. I need something to share my life with!
So, how is having a car different on this side of the big water?
First, there is the problem of the drivers’ license. They have laws here too, you know. There are two ways to go about becoming a legal driver.
First, the hard way. You’ll notice that lots of your Japanese friends don’t drive. In America, as soon as you’re sixteen, you drop everything and run to that license bureau. Not so in Japan. Here, everyone must go to an expensive and long-term driving school. You MUST complete the course. This is difficult and expensive.
Now, the easy way: an international drivers’ permit. This is easy to get if you already have one from your home country. You simply take your home country license, pay a fee, take a test, and you’re good to go. If you plan to stay for an extended time in Japan (more than a year), you should convert your permit to an actual Japanese drivers’ license. For more information, you can go to your local license bureau. You can also get more information from this FAQ here.
The next problem is buying a car. As everybody knows, everything is expensive in Japan. Cars are, too. And, Japanese people do not often buy used cars. Most people buy cars new, and those payments are pretty high.
You also must have car insurance in Japan. Typically, people pay their car insurance in BIG CHUNKS, rather than a little a month. If you want to buy a car, start saving your pennies! It’s not cheap!
Now, you’re roadworthy. Let’s get out on the open road and cruise down the interstate. But, wait! There is no interstate! Japan’s highways are confusing and most of them are toll roads. They are very difficult to navigate andÂc wait a minute. I’ll let you find out for yourself. Just fill up that thermos with coffee and top off the gas tank!